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Adopted by a parrot
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Adopted by a parrot

Yesterday afternoon, my husband discovered a medium sized green parrot squawking on our neighbor's roof.  He lured the bird down and he got right on hubby's hand.  Obviously, he's someone's escaped pet.  We've put the word out in the neighborhood and posted signs in pet stores, etc.   So if anyone in West Houston has lost this guy, send me a private message and we'll give him back.  He's a fabulous bird and we'll be happy to keep him if we don't find the owners.  I'm withholding the exact species for identification purposes.
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Going once... going twice....  no hits, so I guess we have a new bird.  I've posted signs all over the area vet offices, pet stores and on the internet and haven't had one call.  I guess we'll be looking for a more suitable cage for this guy - who we've named Nick.  Our 20-year-old cockatiel could care less about the new arrival, who is currently using the tiel's former cage.  It's a bit small for the parrot, but ok for now.  He's a real hoot!  The dogs also have accepted him as part of the pack.  They know that any critter in the house is off limits and just ignore them.  I swear, my home has turned into a zoo!
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Congratulations on the new member of your family. Sounds like you really tried to find the owners. And he seems to be happy hanging out with you now. Maybe it's for the best. Might be good to get a quick checkup on him since he was out and about. Look for those hidden treasures like parasites. Welcome Nick.
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Thanks ireneo!  Yes, I was just emailed from a person who suggested we take Nick to the vet and check for a microchip.  It never occurred to me that chips were available for birds.  Guess it was a blonde moment on my part!  We'll get him in for a checkup on Monday.

I've never seen any animal more grateful to get back into captivity.  LOL!  As soon as we popped him into the cage he acted like, "Yes!  I get this!  Bring on the food!"  We keep him in our living area near, but not next to, our cockatiel.  I've never liked seeing birds in other homes locked away in a bedroom away from what's happening in the household.  Why do people do that?!
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I think it's a terrible thing to isolate a bird, especially any of those in the parrot family. They need the camaraderie and stimulation to stay happy and healthy. I was at an avian vet clinic for awhile and it was sad to see neurotic birds feather plucking and doing other strange behavior because of loneliness or stress at home. It sounds like you're doing a great job and love your pets.

Also, saw your note to the vet about Chica. I'm so sorry about that. It just never seems to be the right time. You don't want to let go when you're still making fond memories but you don't want her to suffer either. My cats always went on their own. That was no picnic either but I didn't have to choose. My pet rats on the other hand, I had to decide on that a couple of times. I know, they're just rats but I adored their funny antics and it was still hard to let go. I think there comes a time when you just know it's OK. Don't rush it thinking you have to do this. You'll know when the time is right.
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Thanks for the kind words ireneo.  :-)  It's been a total roller coaster ride with Chica.  One day we're certain she's about done, and then she turns around and starts eating and playing a bit with Maggie, or wanting to investigate outside.  It's just bizarre.  As long as she's still doing those things, it isn't time.  We are as prepared as any two people can be for her death.  It's her dying process that's getting to us.  The poor thing is a walking bag of bones now, but she simply isn't ready to give it up.  This dog never backed away from any challenge (real or perceived!) in her life, and this is no exception.  I should have seen it coming.

We've always had the opinion that if we were going to have pets, they should be integral members of our family.  The birds are no exception.  I suspect that's why our cockatiel has lived to nearly 20 years of age.  We have no particular parrot experience, but know they need even more attention than tiels.  Recently we discovered Nick likes to hang out with my husband in the office.  We have a portable perch that the tiel uses in there every so often, and now Nick has his turn.  He likes to be by the speakers where my husband keeps his music playing all day.  Apparently he hates Lyle Lovett.  LOL!

I can't imagine some of things you must have seen while at the avian clinic.  People can be so idiotic when it comes to animals, can't they?  My mother is one of those people and she's driving me insane with her 70 year old misinformation that I can't drill out of her head.  "You know I never take my animals to the vet and I've never had a problem."  Yeah, she never took her kids to the freakin' doctor either except for state-mandated injections.   LOL  Her cat is beginning to show signs of renal failure, and I've volunteered to take him in to the vet for her, and still she refuses.  "He might get upset, and it's normal for cats to die of kindey failure and there's nothing you can do anyway."  GRRRRRRR!  No, you can't cure renal failure, but it can be managed for quite some time if caught early enough.  Can you tell she's driving me around the bend?!
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I liked your story about your Mom. Each generation does things so differently and there's a wide range of pet owners and what they're willing to do. I see my Mom spend more time and energy on her dogs now than she ever did with me. When I was growing up she was too busy with parties and friends and husbands. Now her "babies" are her world. It's kind of funny to see the difference. Finally, her maternal instinct has kicked in.

Of course we are perfect in every way LOL. Some day the young people of the world will look at us and our beliefs like we're from another planet. I guess they call it progress.

Enjoy Chica as long as you can and try not to feel any guilt if/when you have to make that tough decision. I remember reading a poem years ago about this very issue - about doing the final "kindness" for the family pet. It was a tear jerker but explained it well.
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Yes, some day when I am QUEEN!  LOL!  

I don't have a problem with helping Chica out of her misery.  It's just the timing that's causing the problem.  She was perkier yesterday and ate better, but by 4:30 this morning she was back to the barf fest and just laying on the couch today.  Every time she gets this way and I think she's ready, she rebounds.  Frankly, it's hurting me more than it is her I think.
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ireneo
Portland, OR